Weekly Crypto Roundup: mergers, tourist traps, and lost faith – The Hindu

Weekly Crypto Roundup: mergers, tourist traps, and lost faith – The Hindu

Blockchain Crypto Market Technology
July 31, 2022 by Coinvasity
15
Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration | Photo Credit: Reuters Though the week started off with losses for both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), Friday saw Bitcoin edging close to $24,000 while Ether crossed the $1,700 mark. The last time this happened was on June
wp-header-logo-381.png

Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration | Photo Credit: Reuters
Though the week started off with losses for both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), Friday saw Bitcoin edging close to $24,000 while Ether crossed the $1,700 mark. The last time this happened was on June 10.
(Sign up to our Technology newsletter, Today’s Cache, for insights on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, business and policy. Click here to subscribe for free.)
Analysts speculated that one reason for the excitement surrounding Ether’s price could be the upcoming Merge. 
Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum use what is called ‘proof-of-work’ to solve complex puzzles in order to confirm new transactions. However, Ethereum’s proof-of-work consensus mechanism means an annualised power consumption level and carbon footprint nearly matching those of Finland and Switzerland respectively. Switching to a new consensus mechanism called ‘proof-of-stake’ should allow Ethereum to cut its energy consumption by around 99.95%.
For Ethereum investors and smart contract developers, it also means cheaper transactions fees and a better user experience overall.
The Merge is the name for Ethereum’s transition to this new model of confirming transactions. In preparation for the same, several “shadow forks” or practice separations involving testnets have been taking place over months. The upcoming Goerli testnet merger – the last before the real merge – will start on August 4. If all goes as scheduled, the Ethereum mainnet merge could take place around September 19. The event is a historic one for the crypto industry, as Ethereum is only below Bitcoin itself in terms of market cap. 
However, the Merge day is far from being set in stone and delays have upset Merge schedules before.
“As of the publication of this post, the time for the Ethereum mainnet proof-of-stake transition has not been set,” countered an Ethereum Foundation blog post on Wednesday.
Still, looking at Ether’s sudden price jump, it’s possible that investors are reacting to this timeline and the investment opportunity it might offer.
International bodies like the IMF have repeatedly warned El Salvador about the risks of adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, but the country’s administration isn’t budging in its support for the leading cryptocurrency.
According to Bloomberg, El Salvador’s finance minister Alejandro Zelaya insisted on Wednesday that while many did not understand Bitcoin, the technology was present and would continue to grow.
President Nayib Bukele has bought around 2,381 BTC for the country since El Salvador legalised the largest cryptocurrency by market cap in September last year. According to the Nayib Tracker website, however, the value of his investments has fallen by 46.86%. Mr. Bukele also advised people to “enjoy life” as Bitcoin’s price plummeted in the second quarter of 2022.
Despite this, the country is planning to build a Bitcoin city, commence Bitcoin mining using geothermal energy, and also issue a Bitcoin bond once the asset’s price recovers again. 
For now, “Bitcoin tourism” is rising in the country as crypto proponents come to experience the changing monetary system for themselves. Mr. Zelaya also noted the same during his interview.
However, several journalists and activists have criticised the colonial implications of turning El Salvador into a crypto hub for foreign investors and settlers.
All said and done, though, the ultimate test of Bitcoin’s success in El Salvador will depend on the asset’s price.
Solana is one of the top blockchains by market cap, and a number of decentralised finance projects have built protocols on it. However, Thursday saw the Nirvana Finance protocol attacked by hacker(s), with initial estimates suggesting that the stolen funds amount to over $3.4 million. 
The hacker used flash loan attacks, which involve taking huge, ultra-fast crypto loans without collateral and then tricking the market so as to flee with the profits. In this case, the flash loans succeeded and devastated Nirvana’s liquidity. This meant the protocol’s native token Nirvana ANA [ANA] nosedived from above $8 in value to less than $1 in about a day.
If that wasn’t enough, the algorithmic stablecoin Nirvana NIRV [NIRV] came loose from its set $1 value – known as a peg – and fell to a price of around $0.09 in the same time frame.
“Please be advised: ANA has lost its collateral, and NIRV has lost its peg. Until the thief restores funds, these tokens will not have exchange value. Be very careful with trading NIRV & ANA, as they currently have no guaranteed value,” stated a tweet by Nirvana Finance on Thursday.
Nirvana Finance offered a $300,000 bounty to the hacker and promised to halt the investigation, acknowledging that they had revealed a system vulnerability.
“Please accept this good faith request and return our treasury for the good of the whole Nirvana community. You have not taken money from VCs or large funds—the treasury you have taken represents the collective hopes of everyday people,” stated part of their offer on Friday.
Observers might be tempted to link the incident to the collapse of the TerraUSD [UST] stablecoin, but the two cases are different, as there is currently no evidence of UST being hacked. However, the fall of another stablecoin is likely to attract the attention of already unimpressed crypto regulators in the following week.

Our code of editorial values
Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 6:31:56 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/weekly-crypto-roundup-mergers-tourist-traps-and-lost-faith/article65701906.ece
© THG PUBLISHING PVT LTD.

source

Add a comment